Enforcement agents (formerly known as bailiffs)

Salford City Council use two external enforcement agencies to recover debts of unpaid council tax.

If you receive a letter or a visit from an enforcement agent you should call the number you have been given to talk to the agent or you can contact the agency through their website:

You can find more information about the role of enforcement agents published by central government.

Frequently asked questions

Why has my council tax debt been passed to an enforcement agency?

Salford City Council has sent you a bill, at least one reminder notice and Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court served you with a court summons and has made a liability order against you because you have not paid your council tax instalments when they were due.

I made a payment arrangement with Salford City Council and was making payments so why has this action been taken?

If one or more of your payments were not made on or before the date they were due then your account will have been overdue and the payment plan cancelled.

I was not the only person named on the council tax bill and I believe I have paid my share already

If you were jointly liable for a council tax bill then all persons named on the bill are liable for the whole bill. If you have made some payments and the other person(s) has not you are still responsible for ensuring the bill is settled and an enforcement agent can expect you to pay it in full.

I am disputing the enforcement agent fees

Salford City Council has instructed the enforcement agents to send you a letter giving you seven days to contact them and make an arrangement to pay to avoid paying any fees at all. If you ignore this letter and don’t contact them, they charge fees in accordance with the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014.

The fees that you may incur if you do not respond to the first letter from the enforcement agent are:

  • £75 compliance stage fee – this will be added to the debt if you do not respond within seven days to the enforcement agents first letter to you. A compliance stage letter will be sent to you giving you a further 14 days to make contact with the enforcement agent and either pay in full or make a payment arrangement.
  • £235 enforcement stage fee – this will be added to the debt if the enforcement agent has made a visit to your address because you have either not responded to the compliance stage letter or not made a payment on time under a payment arrangement you had made with the enforcement agent. If the debt, or group of debts, is above £1,500 a further 7.5% of the debt above the £1,500 is added as fees.
  • £110 sale or disposal stage fee – this will be added to the debt if the enforcement agent makes a further visit to your property to remove goods to sell to settle the debt. If the debt, or group of debts, is above £1,500 a further 7.5% of the debt above the £1,500 is added as fees.
  • You may also have to pay for things like storage charges or fees charged by the auctioneers.

I don’t think I owe this debt

If you do not think you are the person that should be responsible for the council tax debt that the enforcement agent has contacted you about you should get in touch with us providing any necessary supporting evidence. If you were the person liable for the council tax you should contact the enforcement agent directly to make arrangements to settle the debt. You can tell us if you are not the person that should be liable by using our council tax contact form.

What happens if I pay part of the debt?

Enforcement action will carry on unless you pay the debt in full or make a payment arrangement with the enforcement agent and make all the payments on time. If you are late with any payments the enforcement agent will contact you again and you may get charged more fees. If you know you are going to be late making a payment, you must let the enforcement agent know and they can tell you what to do.

Can I make payments directly to the council?

No. If you send payments directly to the council they may get allocated to a different debt and the enforcement agent will not know you have paid and will continue with enforcement action. You cannot avoid paying the enforcement fees by paying the council directly.

What can enforcement agents do?

Enforcement Agents will always try to make contact with you to offer you the opportunity to settle the debt either in full or by a payment arrangement. Central government have published information online about the role of enforcement agents.

The enforcement agencies we use are:

If you do not want to speak to the enforcement agent in person you can propose a payment arrangement and make payments directly through their websites.

If you do not pay in full or make a payment arrangement that you stick to, the enforcement agent is empowered to take your goods and sell them by public auction and use the money raised to pay towards your debt. This is called Taking Control of Goods.

Do I have to speak to the enforcement agent in person if I don’t want to?

Not necessarily. Both the enforcement agencies we use have interactive websites that you can use to set up a payment arrangement, make payments, check your balance, update your contact details, make an enquiry or tell them something. They also have office based staff that you can speak to over the phone. The Enforcement Agencies we use for council tax are:

Should I answer the door to an enforcement agent?

Yes. By making contact with the agent, and either paying in full or making an arrangement to pay, you will allow the agent to help you settle the debt as quickly as possible. You can also discuss your circumstances with the agent which can be taken into account when agreeing an arrangement.

What happens if I consider myself to be vulnerable?

If you think you should be considered vulnerable and you have received a letter or a visit from an enforcement agent you must speak to them, or the agency, directly. Their staff are trained to provide additional welfare support and advice to vulnerable debtors. They will use the information you give them to determine if there is a cause for concern and if they feel there is they will report it to us. If a decision is made that you are vulnerable, this may not mean that action to recover the debt will stop but you will be given time to get advice and support if you want it. This assessment cannot be made unless you make contact with the agent or agency.

Can I stop the enforcement agent from doing their job?

No. If you do this you may be committing an offence.

Where can I get free debt advice?

Free, independent and confidential advice is available with these friendly organisations who are there to help you.

Salford City Council Debt Advice Service
Call: 0800 345 7323
Monday and Wednesday, 1pm to 4pm

Citizens Advice Salford
Call: 0161 974 6721
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

National Debtline
0808 808 4000
Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and
Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm

Money Helper Service
Call: 0800 138 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

This page was last updated on 9 May 2023

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